VLADA

The war in Ukraine following the Russian invasion of 2022 has resulted in vast amounts of videos and photographs being uploaded online. With most people able to use their phones to upload information the war has become one of the most documented conflicts in history.

VLADA is an 11 hour long continuous artwork made from this material that played out in full for one day only on Saturday 24th February 1pm-Midnight on the immense screens at Outernet London’s flagship space The Now Building.

The exhibition looks at the phenomena of mass, distributed journalism – with over 320 videos showing simultaneously across the floor to ceiling, 16K wrap around screens at Outernet in what was a deliberately overwhelming experience.

Having taken a year to build, the visuals, combined with a driving soundtrack, created a single, ever shifting entity – simultaneously thought provoking and disturbing.

ADOT presented artists Nick and Ian’s VLADA and connected this work to the fundraising efforts of the charity Choose Love: https://chooselove.org/’ to support displaced Ukrainian communities today.

Nick and Ian said “We’re proud to be showing this work at Outernet to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion. If art has a role to play in such a conflict it is to help us to not forget. When the full-scale invasion began we knew this was an era defining moment in world politics. As artists we could not ignore it. 

VLADA came about because like the rest of the world we were glued to our phones watching the horror unfold.  It’s also our way of not letting that horror be forgotten, nor allowing it to overwhelm or paralyse us.  After all, that’s what Putin would like.

It’s a long form video and had to be meticulously pieced together. You’d imagine you could automate something like this, but in reality is requires a human eye to check that every element it sitting just as it should.”

Outernet saw the UK premiere of this work which was first shown at the M17 Centre for Contemporary Art in Kyiv in October 2023.

About the artists

Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson started working together whilst sharing a studio in Manchester 1994.  They soon built a reputation for their 24 hour long performances and spectacular video works.  The latter often combined densely layered allusions to faith, politics, national identity and the environment. Their collaboration has continued since Crowe moved to Germany in the early 2000s and their work has been included in Museum shows in Europe, Asia and the United States as well as regularly in the UK. Both have combined their art careers with teaching, respectively at Goldsmiths, London and MMU, Manchester.



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